The Kerry intern scandalette seems to be fading. The woman has been identified and isn’t saying anything. Her parents think that Kerry is a “sleaze” but deny any affair. She apparently never worked for him and is now 24. John Ellis, not a Kerry-lover, reports a detail everyone else seems to have missed:
Something could still pop — Glenn Reynolds, for one, will be soooooo disappointed if it doesn’t — but that doesn’t really seem likely.
The rumor caused the Kerry nomination contract on Tradesports, which had hit a high of 96, to drop below 80, but it’s back up to 91 now. The Bush re-elect contract is down to 63, the lowest it’s been in months.
Still, whoever told Drudge to steal this from WatchBlog and try to frame Clark as having spread the story didn’t completely waste his or her time. It gave Bush supporters something else to talk about while they were pretending that the dental record ended the AWOL flap. And despite the utter lack of anything approaching a confirmed, on-the-record fact to back up the accusation that “Kerry had an affair with an intern,” that accusation has now spread sufficiently widely that it’s going to be in the back of voters’ minds. Kerry’s picture is on the front pages of the New York Post and the New York Daily News, attached to stories that say he says it isn’t true.
There’s an old story — perhaps canonical, perhaps not — about Lyndon Johnson, trailing near the end of a campaign, telling his campaign manager to spread the word that his opponent was inclined to have romantic interludes with swine. “But Lyndon, we can’t prove that!” the naive manager is supposed to have protested. “Of course we can’t,” said LBJ. “But we can make the son-of-a-bitch deny it.”